Voters went to the polls in West berlin today (2 March) with the leader of the Conservative opposition party still in the hands of kidnappers.
GV AND CU Election posters of Peter Lorenz (3 shots)
GV EXTERIOR Polling station
SV INTERIOR Mayor Klaus Schuetz and family taking papers from clerks and entering booth (2 shots)
SV Mayor Klaus Schuetz, wife and daughter putting polling papers into polling box and leave
Initials CL/2220 CL/2230
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Voters went to the polls in West berlin today (2 March) with the leader of the Conservative opposition party still in the hands of kidnappers.
Herr Peter Lorenz, the leader of the Christian Democrats, was kidnapped last Thursday and police have been unable to trace his whereabouts.
Herr Lorenz was expecting a closely fought election against the ruling Social Democrats with the possibility that he might become the first Conservative Mayor of the city since the second world war.
SYNOPSIS: Campaigning for today's election for the West German House of Representatives went ahead despite the kidnapping of the city's opposition leader. The three main parties, including the Christian Democrats of Herr Peter Lorenz urged voters to exercise their rights as a response to the kidnapping.
West berlin's Mayor, Herr Klaus Schuetz and his family were out early to cast their votes in what was expected to be one of the closest elections in the city since the last world war. Up until his kidnapping by left wing anarchists last Thursday, Herr Lorenz was predicting his party would make big gains on the ruling Social Democrats.
The Social Democrats won fifty point four percent of the vote in the 1971 election, giving them seventy-three of the one-hundred-and thirty-eight seats in the House. The Christian Democrats won fifty-four seats and ironically, hoped to make gains this time with their campaign for law and order. Herr Lorenz had accused Herr Schuetz's party of being too tolerant of the activities of extremists and his campaign posters stressed personal security with the slogan "Berliners are in danger of their lives".